So, a long-awaited day has finally arrived. The Star Wars Edge of the Empire Core Rulebook hit store shelves today, along with the Game Master’s Kit and the specialized Edge of the Empire dice. Close to a year after the beta, and many months after the release of the Beginner Game, I'm very excited that everyone can now play the full rules set, including character creation and more. I had a good time working on this project, and hope everyone else has as much, or more, fun playing it.
As you can see when flipping open the cover, it takes a lot of people to make any gaming product. There are writers, designers, editors, producers, artists, graphic designers, license representatives, production staff, playtesters and many more involved in the creation of the game. The book looks fantastic, and is dense with rules and universe information that goes well beyond those originally seen in the beta product. Edge gives players a wealth of information that should set them up for a lot of game sessions, and be useful for players of any experience.
So, where do I fit into all of this? I’m one of the (freelance) writers / developers. A collection of us worked with Sam Stewart, Jay Little and others at Fantasy Flight Games expanding and testing the rules that were under development as we worked on our specific sections of the book. While we were each focused on our particular task, there was plenty of discussion about the rules system including such things as the names and symbols of the dice and the character careers.
I worked on three major sections of Edge of the Empire. Well, four if you count the adventure included in the beta book. By the way, as far as I know, that remains the only place to find that particular adventure. Two of the sections appear in the book itself: Chapter IX: The Game Master, and Chapter X: The Galaxy (except the specific planet pages).
The Game Master chapter covers the full range of information needed to be a gamemaster. Whether the GM is just for starting out, or is an experienced GM getting into the game for the first time, there is plenty of information about running games and a lot of specific advice for running and creating adventures for Edge of the Empire. A small part of this chapter appeared in the Beta.
The Galaxy chapter serves as a broad introduction to the Star Wars galaxy as a whole. It's a big place, with tons of opportunities for stories of all kinds. However, for new players, or even existing players that don't necessarily read or follow the Expanded Universe, it can be a bit overwhelming at first. This chapter serves to give players and the GM a lot of ideas and potential starting points for their games. While there are obviously future products that may expand on some of these areas, these also serve as a springboard to inspire players and GMs to seek out other stories or source material to find more information.
I was thrilled to get the opportunity to write the Read This First insert for the front of the book. It features a fast paced short story followed by a quick guide to what an RPG is and what is expected from GMs and Players, and rounded out with an example of play and brief introduction to the galaxy. As one who has introduced a lot of new players to Star Wars RPGs over the years, it was nice to be able to write a guide for getting into Edge of the Empire. Though the example of play was not my section, and I liked the way it was worked into the story. I had an absolute blast writing the story. It was intentionally written so that the narrator could be almost any type of character or species in the game.
Also out today are the Game Master’s Kit and the dice. I didn’t have anything to do with them, other than the aforementioned dice name and symbol discussions. The GM’s kit features an awesome, thick screen that feels more like a board game board, along with an adventure and info on creating NPC Nemesis characters. The dice are, of course, the custom dice needed for the game. The Star Wars Dice app also remains available for ios and android. I used the GM screen (and core rulebook) at FFG’s Star Wars Game Experience and it’s a really good reference piece.
So, go out and find the game at your local game store or other retailer. If you’re in the Kansas City area, I’ll be running a few sessions as a Guest at this weekend’s KantCon, though you’ll have to check at the desk as to my running times. Even I don’t exactly know when it will be just yet.
PS - FFG posted an example of play on thier site this week.
PPS – sorry about the lack of post last week…my provider has had some issues lately…